What's the numbering system for spaghetti and does it matter?

  • When I lived in Italy some years ago I remember an Italian friend explaining the numbering system for spaghetti (perhaps also other long pasta). How spaghetti was sold in Italy with a number indicating its fineness.

    She told me that different kinds of recipes called for specific numbered spaghetti, if you wanted to be precise.

    Can anyone else explain the numbering system for spaghetti better than my vague recollection? Do people in Italy really worry about matching the right numbered spaghetti with a given dish, and has anyone outside Italy encountered a recipe calling for a specific number spaghetti?

    I used to get lost in the letter soup...

    I have no answer specifically,just a comment. My Mother made a delicious crusty Macaroni & Cheese baked in an earthenware casserole every Christmas Eve. I followed the tradition with my own family up until about ten years ago, when I no longer could find the pasta. It was a #17. It was a long spaghetti length noodle with a wide hole,not as wide as rigatoni, nor small as penne. I always assumed it had to do with the hole width. No Mac&Cheese since has ever been as good as that #17.

  • Wizard79

    Wizard79 Correct answer

    10 years ago

    They are just a "product number", and it may vary for the same kind of pasta from a manufacturer to another.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM